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Magical Oaxaca - Part I

When we arrived in Oaxaca, we didn’t have a clue about what was awaiting us. We had heard and had a vague idea that it was a state with rich indigenous heritage, local traditions and ancestral medicinal practices. However, we didn’t have any contacts with people who...Read More...

Lessons Learned on the Journey to the Journey - March 2017

It’s been a few week since we started our trip, but it took us a while to get to this point. Below are some of our reflections and important thoughts prior to this new chapter. We also hope that it can help inspire you with your personal projects and dreams, especially those that try in a small way to make the world a better place. Read More...

Recycled Fuel - September 2017

We began traveling in March 2017 from Oregon, USA down into Latin America in our vehicle that functions with used vegetable oil fuel that we collect from restaurants. Read More...

Oregon Chapter - August 2016

Oregon was a surprise for us. We got married in December and thought that by February we would have converted our van to veggie oil fuel in Tijuana and that we would be ready to hit the road soon. One thing that we’ve learned since we began dreaming up this project is that things don’t always go as planned. We’ve been learning to slow down, grow patience and do things better. More time also means more time to perfect. Read More...

Living in a Van - August 2017

Living in a small rolling home also has its ups and downs, like everything in life. Below are some of our daily realities while living in a very small space. Read More...

Tijuana Time - February 2016

January was a month of new beginnings and big challenges, starting with our wedding a few weeks prior. Our plan was to live for a month in Tijuana, where our van was waiting for us, in order convert it to WVO (waste-vegetable-oil). But Tijuana and the van had big surprises in store for us. Read More...

OUR DREAM

Whats is Camino Casamel?

Camino = path or journey
Casamel = cielo (Spanish), sky & heaven (English)

Camino Casamel is the journey of our dreams, leading us and the people we connect with towards a more ideal world.

Camino Casamel's mission

We are a doctor and a nature-lover visiting rural communities in Latin America, seeking an exchange of knowledge and practices around health and environmental issues, while traveling on recycled vegetable oil fuel.

Strategy

We will make our way through as many countries as we can in Latin America, visiting a few communities per country. We estimate staying with each community for 1 to 2 weeks. The journey may take us 1 or 2 years...we’re open.

waste vegetable oil

Why will we travel with Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO)?

We desire to learn and share knowledge about health and environmental care in the communities we visit. Therefore, we chose a method of transportation as environmentally friendly as possible. We learned about a couple traveling from Alaska to Chile in a WVO vehicle (upachalupa.org) and many others around the world. After contacting them and researching more about the topic, we decided this was the most accessible form of clean energy for us and an exciting non-conventional option.

How will we obtain WVO as we travel?

We will ask restaurants and hotels that deep fry for their used oil. It’s important that the veggie oil doesn’t have any water or additional chemicals.

How do WVO vehicles work?

We found that converting to WVO is very simple. However, it takes a lot of patience, research, and trial and error. Our van is a 2-tank system, one tank is for diesel and the other for WVO. The car starts on diesel and is switched to WVO once it’s hot. Additionally, the vegetable oil needs to be filtered before it can be used. We purchased most of our conversion items from WVO Designs. Their website was very helpful for learning more about the veggie oil system and they gave us an awesome 25% discount! www.wvodesigns.com/wiki/Main_Page

What are the advantages of using this type of alternative fuel?

We will recycle thousands of gallons of used kitchen oil that would otherwise be poured down the drain, polluting water and soil because there is no system to adequately disposal of oil it in Latin America. Secondly, WVO fuel is 100% renewable and leaves a neutral carbon footprint. This is amazing since we will most likely travel over 10,000 kilometers. Lastly, WVO is free. It’s a huge money saver!

GET TO KNOW US

 JOHANNA SHORACK

JOHANNA SHORACK

Born in Los Angeles and raised in Venezuela, I am at home in Latin America. For the last few years, I worked on the community level with various environmental projects in Caracas, Venezuela. I helped found an environmental club for at-risk children and youth in the local barrio where I grew up. I was also involved in initiatives to restore and recuperate endangered green spaces in the city. From these experiences stems my passion for figuring out sustainable ways of living in balance with nature and people. I also graduated in 2012 from Seattle Pacific University with a degree in “Global Development Studies.”

 AIDAN AVILA

AIDAN AVILA

I graduated in 2015 as a General Physician in Guatemala, where I am from. I enjoy being spontaneous, doing new things, exploring, making a difference and showing the world it is possible to do things differently. Ever since I was a teenager I dreamed of becoming a doctor to help others. During the last few years in Medical School in Guatemala, I’ve seen the need of my people and the reality they live in. I was able to work as a doctor in a rural area of Guatemala for a few months, which opened my eyes to the poverty and the need of these communities.

Rural Communities

Connecting

We hope to learn about the local values and practices that promote healthy well-being in the communities we visit. We desire our relationships with the communities to develop organically and flexibly. Therefore, we will continue to expand and adapt our ideas as we travel.

We will be prepared to share our own skills and knowledge about health and environmental care through avenues such as skits, games and interactive activities and grow from there. We hope that these activities will provide a space for dialogue and reflection; both for us and the people we meet.

Based on Aidan’s experience working in impoverished areas in rural Guatemala, we will be prepared to dynamically share vital preventative health care information, such as:

  • Preparing food and washing hands
  • Detecting signs of child respiratory illnesses
  • Detecting and treating diarrhea

Aidan will also provide emergency medical attention such as attending births, caring for cuts and injuries, detecting malnutrition and other medical emergencies.

Community recycling project ideas based on Johanna’s work in Caracas:

  • Bottle cap mural
  • Utilizing used tires for making shoes and building
  • crafts with junk food wrappers
  • building with plastic bottles
  • composting

We find health and environment extremely interconnected. In rural communities like in urban communities, there often isn’t a proper way to dispose of this garbage, creating many health and environmental hazards. Furthermore, consuming these industrialized products creates many health problems that previously did not exist in these rural communities.

Learning

These are just some of the topics we are interested in and plan to document while we travel. We look forward to everything else we will learn on the way!

  • Natural Medicine: ancestral botanical and medical knowledge to compile into a book!
  • Globalization-consumer trends: effects on lifestyle of these communities.
  • Agriculture: farming techniques that are healthier for the earth and people, and the effect of modern day agriculture for farmers and local environment.

The Book

At the end of the journey, we compile a book about our findings natural medicinal practices. Please contact us if you would like a copy contact@caminocasamel.org. This is also a great way to support the expedition!

CONTACT US

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